January 5, 2016

7 Online Marketing Methods That Have Stood The Test Of Time- Neil Patel, Forbes



7 Online Marketing Methods That Have Stood The Test Of Time 

Many online marketing trends are just that — trends.
They rise, they fade, they die. It’s one of the most frustrating things about marketing. You spend all this money and invest all this time in something, and then — poof! — it’s gone. You feel like you’ve wasted time and effort. 
In the grand scheme of things, digital marketing is still a new industry. It wasn’t until 1990 or so that marketers first started dabbling in that new thing called the Internet, and discovering ways to amplify their brand’s presence.
Look how far we’ve come.
The question we need to ask now is this: Are there any marketing techniques that have stood the test of time? The answer is yes. 
Therefore, it behooves us as marketers to analyze those time-tested techniques and use them wisely. 
Why? 
Because the techniques that have endured to the present will probably endure in the future as well. We should invest our resources and our energy in marketing that gets results.
In this article, I will survey seven of the time-tested, revenue-building techniques that are worth carrying into the future.

1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the current method of choice for most marketers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2Bs and 76% of B2C organizations are using content marketing.
Content marketing was thriving far before the Internet, and even before any of us were alive. John Deere’s magazine, The Furrow, was a classic form of content marketing, launched in 1895. Its subscribers were — or became — customers of Deere equipment and fostered future generations of customers. 
Michelin is known as both an information provider and a tire manufacturer. Their information comes in the form of the Red Guide, Michelin star ratings, and Michelin maps. This technique has mushroomed into a vast business, but it started out as a content marketing strategy. Look how successful it’s been!
Like other forms of marketing, content creation doesn’t provide the instant results that you might wish for. Hang in there, though. Content marketing has been successful in the past, and will give you results for years to come.

2. SEO
One of the most worn-out cliches in marketing is this: “SEO is dead.” 
Marketers have been making this claim since 1997. If you’re doing the math, SEO has allegedly been in the throes of death for 18 years. 
In reality, SEO isn’t going away. There will always be search. That’s what humans do. There will always be engines, even if they are run by smart algorithms and artificial intelligence. There will always be optimization. 
Therefore, there will always be search engine optimization even if it looks more mature than its younger self.

3. The Value Proposition
Many old-school marketing methodologies have their online equivalents. The value proposition, also referred to as the unique selling proposition (USP), is one example.
A solid value proposition is the unique value add that your company promises and delivers to its customers. When we tested value propositions in two of my online businesses, we boosted our conversion rate by more than 10%.
Value propositions are as old as marketing itself. In fact, you could say that value propositions are at the heart of marketing.

Unsheathe this old marketing weapon, and watch your marketing improve.

4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the forgotten stepchild of online marketing. When social media got all sexy, many marketers simply forgot about the ancient art of email marketing.
The data backs up email as a mighty marketing force. Email marketing is responsible for 16% of customers acquired, compared with the less than 1% acquisition rate from Facebook.  Search marketing still remains the top-ranked marketing method, but email holds a steady second place. You can keep using that antiquated communication method for as long as it survives.

5. Social Proof
What does a hot dog stand have in common with Amazon.com? 
Answer: Social proof.
Social proof, also known as “informational social influence,” means that people follow the actions and behaviors of those around them.
If the hot dog stand has a long line of happy, hungry customers, then you think, “That stand must serve great hot dogs.” You can’t know for certain until you taste the food, but you assume it’s the case because of the sheer number of people lining up to get one.
How does this apply to Amazon.com? Successful ecommerce retailers know that they need to back up their products with social reinforcement. If people are liking, rating, commenting, or reviewing products, it gives social proof to those products. 
Social proof has been a form of online marketing for a long time, but never before has it been so powerful, streamlined, and primed for success.

6. Persuasive Copy
The words we use — copy, content, webinars, blog articles, infographics, web pages — are potent conduits of persuasion.
One enduring online marketing method is using powerful and persuasive copy to get people to take action.
Students of persuasive writing may have read Thomas Paine and his 1776 treatise, Common Sense. That’s persuasive writing. Persuasion goes even farther back in time — to Aristotle and his school of rhetoric.
Persuasive writing and speaking is as old as humankind itself, and it still works today.
Using persuasive copy on your website and marketing assets will score conversions.

7. Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Taken literally, word-of-mouth marketing is one person using his or her voice to tell another person about a product, service, or business.
n its modern iteration, word-of-mouth marketing is people promoting products, services, or businesses on social networks by sharing experiences, rating products, and writing reviews. It was with us during the early days of forum-based Internet usage, and it remains with us still.
Word-of-mouth marketing, along with its cousins evangelism marketing and influencer marketing, are still powerful ways to reach your customers.
Conclusion
Unless we experience a global cataclysm, digital marketing will be around for the long haul. Because of its volatile nature, however, we need to play it smart. We need to engage in marketing techniques that really work instead of just snatching at the occasional flash-in-the-pan. 
If we pour our efforts and dollars into reliable methods, we’ll eventually come out on top.
What are some marketing techniques that you think will endure?  

-Written By Neil Patel for Forbes/ Entrepreneurs

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